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NORWAY

Court appearance of shooting spree suspect held behind closed doors

Reuters/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Aftenposten

The  first court hearing of the Norwegian man who is the principal suspect in the killing of 93 people in a twin attack in Oslo has been held behind closed doors, after the presiding judge  ruled to exclude members of the media, and the public from the courtroom.

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Judge Kim Heger made the decision on a request from police. Breivik, had asked for an open hearing.

“Based on information in the case the court finds that today's detention hearing should be held behind closed doors,'' the court said in a statement.

“It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security,” the statement added.

According to the Norwegian news agency NTB, Anders Behring Breivik (32) appeared before judge Kim Heger, to rule on the prosecutors call for home to be place in detention for eight weeks as an investigation is carried out.

Eight weeks is double the normal time in similar stories.

Breivik, the 32-year-old suspect, appeared in a downtown court in a closed-door hearing around for arraignment over Friday's car bombing and mass shooting that he said he had planned over a long time and executed single-handedly.

NTB also said the vehicle bringing Behring Breivik into the courthouse arrived through a back entrance, leading to the basement of the building, while people waiting outside to get a look at him shouted “traitor” and “bloody killer”.

The decision came shortly after the grief-stricken nation observed a minute's silence at noon local time on Monday as the country paid solemn tribute to the victims of last week's twin bomb and shooting attacks that left 93 dead.

Thousands of people bowed their heads in silence outside Oslo's main university at a ceremony led by Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and King Harald V who then signed a book of condolences inside.

"To remember the victims who died at the government's headquarters and on the island of Utoeya, I declare a minute of silence," said Stoltenberg.

 

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